First Impressions

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Did I tell you that Tony’s Telenav bit the dust right in the middle of New York last night? And do I have navigation on my new phone yet…and do we know how to use the navigation in our new truck?  Uhhhh…noooooo. It was interesting. Luckily we had a general idea of where we were going and an old fashioned map.

He spent almost the entire way through New York on the phone trying to figure out why it wasn’t working and then more than three hours this morning on the phone in our hotel room. It still isn’t working, but at least I was able to finally get him out the door around 11:00!

We left the hotel and went straight to the house so I could see the outside. We didn’t make an appointment with the realtor so we’ll have to wait until we sign the papers before I get my second surprise of getting a glimpse of the inside.

I’ve seen it on the internet of course, but I was so happy to see it in person! I think it’s gorgeous, it’s been meticulously taken care of and the yard is fantastic. When I got out of the truck to take pictures, our next door neighbors were outside. What fun people! They came right up and introduced themselves. The husband is a retired fireman from New York city. They spent their entire married life in a tiny apartment in the Bronx and retired out here to NH to a big house. I think we probably talked to them for about an hour. We felt instantly comfortable with them and they gave us the run down on the whole neighborhood. It sounds like it is going to be a friendly and great area to live in.

It’s woodsy and so quiet. No drone of the freeway or constant cars. There’s a little neighborhood family owned pizza place right up the road, and guess what? They have a gluten free crust! Nadine and Rick also told us that the neighborhood has moose, deer, bobcat, a black bear that meanders in and out in the spring, porcupines, and fox! We also will have a bird’s eye view of Monadnock  Mountain, right out our living room window.

The house you can see in the right corner of the photo looks like it’s right on top of us, but it’s deceiving. The houses are staggered very nicely with lots of room in between. I think there are maybe only about 8 or 10 on our entire street. That house also decorates beautifully for Christmas and when you drive by it you can set your car radio to a certain station where he has set up Christmas music to go along with his decorations. What fun!!

We’ll be needing to build a fence to keep the dogs in and all of the lovely critters Nadine and Rick told us about out.

I felt better today after seeing the house and meeting our neighbors. I haven’t been stressed about this move at all, which is probably unusual since we have moved about 3,000 miles away from “home” and our families. This move came at a great time in our lives. We are empty nesters now and were actually talking about doing something different from the same-o same-o we’d been doing for the last several years. So once we decided concretely that we were going to go for it, we both felt great about it and have been really excited and looking forward to it. But after our long road trip and isolated camping trip in Pennsylvania I was beginning to wonder just how isolated of an area we were going to be living in. Not knowing a soul back here, that worried me a bit. I’m a social person, enjoy having people around, and certainly like to shop every now and then! Luckily after taking a look around today, there are no worries!

The area is gorgeous, I mean absolutely gorgeous! Not only the woodsy surroundings, the water (there’s a lake about 2 blocks from our house), and just the beauty of NH itself, but the architecture is incredible. Huge, ornate churches, beautiful homes, and towns and buildings with such history. There’s all kinds of different types of shopping and incredible restaurants within a reasonable distance and the neighborhood we’re going to live in doesn’t feel isolated at all. It’s in the “woods”, but there are plenty of neighbors and plenty of places to go.

Below are some pictures of our walk down Main street in Keene. The pictures don’t do it justice. It is a fantastic town with really unique local shops, tons and tons of amazing little restaurants and much to our surprise, many of them offer gluten free bread and pasta, vegan options (no dairy!) and vegetarian options! As a matter of fact, we just ordered delivery pizza from Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza….gluten free! I also found goat’s milk caramel sauce in a little shop and several locally made, really cool, stocking stuffers for Christmas.

This is a beautiful church at the top of Main street. You can’t really tell from the picture but right in front of it is a very large roundabout with two lanes. Yikes! I’m glad I wasn’t the one driving.

This is in the middle of the roundabout. There’s a big statue to the left but some goof planted a tree in front of it and then fenced it, so it’s not easily photographed.

Another gorgeous church (truly beautiful from the front), and some of the interesting architecture. When things calm down I’d like to spend an entire day just trying to photograph some of the beautiful homes and buildings.

Different photos walking on Main street.

Notice the guy in the shorts below? Tony has two coats on, gloves, and the dogs have coats. I think it was 34 degrees. We’re used to the cold in Washington, but I think the moisture in the air back here makes it feel chillier. Plus, it was windy. It will probably take us a bit to acclimate!

The dog walking toward Tony is Zeus. Romeo and Abigail loved him. The people in Keene are incredibly friendly. Numerous people stopped to chat with us and pet the dogs and a store owner stepped out of her shop to talk to us. While Tony was getting coffee  and I was standing outside with the dogs, every single person that passed me looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and said hello. It was refreshing! And whatever you’ve heard about the east coasters being rude, I’m here to tell you that we haven’t experienced it once on this trip and we’ve talked to a lot of people.

It seems like there’s a lot of traffic in the pictures, and it is a busy college town, but we were walking down Main street right at the beginning of rush hour traffic. The other times we drove through town today weren’t this busy.

I would have to say that my day of “first impressions” was an excellent day. A blessing in fact. Many of the little things that have been running through my mind were put to rest. I was able to glimpse what we have to look forward to, met some of our lovely neighbors, did a little Christmas shopping, and my mom and our son are coming for Christmas…so much to be thankful for! If all goes well with the house signing, I will be able to get you a look-see on the inside sometime around the 7th of December.

Oh, and one more thing to be thankful for, my gluten free and dairy free pizza has arrived!

16 thoughts on “First Impressions

  1. WOW.. your excitement is infectious, what a simply splendid place to move too and so BIG, you will have a wonderful time settling in and lucky for us we can come along too! I am thrilled for you honey.. what a relief.. and that little town, Oh i am green with envy.. c

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  2. Your pictures are so beautiful.It reminds me of U.K.Its awesome you are able to find gluten and dairy free pizza in a small town.Thank you for all the tips about traveling in Japan.I am excited and nervous at the same time.Good luck with your new house and new town

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  3. Hi April

    So glad to see you made it safely. I love the looks of your new home and the town looks like something out of a Christmas movie. I love it. I am so happy for you and Tony! Will Brandon be moving there sometime in the future?

    I remember when we moved in to our home we put the Christmas tree up first. Then moved in. I look forward to your future blogs. Take care!!

    Karen Buchanan

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    • Thank you, Karen! I would love it if Brandon would move back here with us. Time will tell. He’s not a little boy anymore…boo hoo! Why do they have to grow up!

      Believe me, I’m not going to miss out on decorating for Christmas!

      Talk to you soon ~ April

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  4. This is all so incredible. I want to move to NH. What a beautiful home and you have so much house and land! What a treat. I love how your new neighbours decorate for Christmas. And what a beautiful town! I would love to shop there for my Christmas stocking stuffers. And I just love the look of that GF DF pizza. I know you’re a social soul and I’m sure it’s not going to take you long to have a whole network of friends xx

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